The Caretaker, Bury St Edmunds

FRANK CLIFF Harold Pinter's The Caretaker has enjoyed perfect status since its premiere in 1960.

FRANK CLIFF

Harold Pinter's The Caretaker has enjoyed perfect status since its premiere in 1960.

Seeing it in Geri Jones's excellent production for English Touring Theatre, at the Theatre Royal, what struck one was how long it takes for the change from inconsequential to progressively grimmer comedy.

There seemed to be a fair number of longeurs on their way to the climax when Aston and his brother Mick turn on the manipulative tramp Davies.

Even so the dichotomy in the dialogue, at the same time both natural and surreal, remains hypnotic and the cast of three are superb, with a tremendous central performance from Malcolm Storrey as Davies, magnificently physical. Julian Lewis-Jones is excellent as the complacent, mentally disturbed Aston and Lee Boardman equally fine as the cajoling, menacing Mick.